BLOOMINGTON – The shot hadn't fallen all night.
But when Indiana sophomore guard Yogi Ferrell felt he had the right look, he picked the perfect time to bury his only 3-pointer Tuesday to lift the Hoosiers to a 75-72 upset win over No. 3 Wisconsin at Assembly Hall.
Ferrell had missed his first seven 3-pointers against the Badgers (16-1, 3-1 Big Ten) before he connected from beyond the arc with 2:53 to play to break a 65-point tie and give IU (12-5, 2-2) a 68-65 lead it never gave back.
"I felt like I was open and pulled it," Ferrell said. "I felt like most of my 3s kind of felt good, just weren't going in. So if I had to make one 3, I was glad it was that last one."
Ferrell came through again with 18 seconds to play as he knocked down two free throws after Wisconsin had cut it's deficit to 73-71.
Ferrell also helped put the finishing touches on a 12-0 run that erased IU's 52-42 deficit midway through the second half.
Ferrell sank a one-hand floater in the lane and drew a foul by Traevon Jackson to cut the Hoosiers' deficit to 52-50 with 9:44 to play.
Ferrell missed his free throw, but Noah Vonleh was there for the putback to tie it at 52, and the freshman gave IU a 54-52 lead with a short jumper in the paint with 8:58 to play.
Ferrell finished with a game-high 25 points.
"It was big," coach Tom Crean said of Ferrell's play down the stretch. "That's what Yogi's got to continue to grow into, and he is. There is no question about it. Like I said, concept wise, and then being game plan specific, without being specific, he did a fantastic job of that tonight. He's really, really grown as a player, and grown as a leader."
IU found a weakness in Wisconsin's defense by going straight at the Badgers.
The Hoosiers scored 52 points in the paint with most of the baskets coming off of penetration.
"It was very important we get to the basket," Crean said. "We need to get in the lane whether it's through the post or the drive. I thought we were good at getting to the basket in the first half, and it was there in the second half and we started to settle. But we made some changes."
Holding onto the ball
Indiana limited its turnovers for a second straight game Tuesday.
The Hoosiers, who came into the game averaging 16.1 turnovers, only had nine turnovers against the Badgers.
"It's some of the things we work on every day," IU's Will Sheehey said. "Just because we had nine tonight doesn't mean we're not going to continue to working on it. Really just guys continuing to move the ball, playing smart, and just really playing well here."
IU had 13 turnovers in Saturday's 79-76 road win over Penn State.
The Hoosiers' ability to hang on to the ball stems from what the players have gone through in practice since opening Big Ten play with a combined 38 turnovers in losses to Illinois and Michigan State.
"They don't want to turn it over in practice. We've changed those consequences a little bit," said Crean, who declined to share what he consequences are. "It's just there was the elephant in the room was visible for everybody. We were doing pretty good in so many areas, nationally even. Look at how much our shooting had improved over the last few weeks, turnovers were hurting us. We can't play through them yet. We'll get there, but we're still not going to be good enough to play through them."
Jeremy Hollowell didn't play for IU for a second straight game.
The sophomore forward had started 14 of the first 15 games before being benched in the win over Penn State.
Crean wouldn't indicate when Hollowell, who averaged 7.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 23.3 minutes, would return to playing an active role for the Hoosiers.
"I'll play him when I put him in," Crean said. "He's doing a fantastic job. He's trying to help make sure that he is getting his focused to be prioritized, and then we'll go from there."
- Will Sheehey scored 13 for IU
- Stanford Robinson scored 13 for IU, a season-high for the freshman
- Vonleh had 10 points, sinking two 3-pointers, and five rebounds
- Wisconsin's leading scorers were: Jackson (21), Ben Brust (13), Frank Kaminsky (11), Josh Gasser (11), Sam Dekker (10)
- IU's win over Wisconsin was its first since defeating the Badgers 71-65 at Assembly Hall on Jan. 31, 2007